Beardie Portrait #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

In my previous post I started working on a bearded collie portrait. I’ve carried on with it and got it to a reasonable standard to give to our friend in the Beardies in Need charity. I wasn’t sure if I’d see her again before their next event, so although there was lots more I would have liked to add, I decided to give it to her now. Here’s a few close up shots as well as the overall.

I am pretty happy with it overall, and I hope it goes to a happy home, but I was in a bit of a painting funk when I tried to finish it. You know when you just overwork something and it doesn’t really change/get better? I’ve had that over the weekend. Instead, I’ve started a new piece with watercolour and pens. I’m looking forward to trying a different medium for a little while to give me time to fall back in love with acrylic.

For now, here are the beautiful fur-babies from the weekend. The second picture is from Saturday when it was Molly’s first birthday! She’s such a grown up girl now.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

Julia

Josh and Bike #3

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Hi all,

We’ve had more snow here. Luckily it hasn’t disrupted work this time, but it has been extra chilly. Perfect weather for being cosy inside, watching Harry Potter films and doing some painting.

In this post I showed a recent painting I’ve been working on. I’m going to give it to Josh’s first owner, the man who rescued him, when it’s finished. Unfortunately, he’s too unwell to look after him now but he still visits which is lovely!

This is the stage it was at:

I mentioned in the first post that I wanted to work on these things:

  1. I want to block out Josh’s toggle on his collar. It’s accurate, but kind of manky in real life.
  2. I need to add some shadow to the background.
  3. I’m really keen to find a super fine paintbrush and add lots of little details, especially to Josh’s fur!

I was especially keen to add some details into the background and get some practise at creating more realistic scenes. To start I worked on the top-left corner to give it some life. Here’s a few progress shots. Sorry for the odd lighting – I was too into it to remember to take photos when there was natural light:

I’m really pleased with how it’s shaping up, especially the bench, and I feel like my leaves are coming along. Come to think of it, most paintings I did last year involved painting leaves so I better be getting better! Here’s how it now looks overall, with an artificial pink hue:

It doesn’t make a huge difference to the overall impact yet, but doing the smaller details still takes me SUCH a long time. Still, I take much less time to plot out my basic shapes and get colour matches that I’m happy with so there’s definitely progress!

Here’s a summary of a few things I learnt from adding the details:

  • Sometimes, a wash is all you need.
  • JUST USE A TINY AMOUNT OF PAINT!
  • You can never have too fine a brush.
  • It’s more likely that you’ll accidentally make the painting too dark, rather than too light, so keep stepping away and checking the overall effect.

That’s all for now,

Happy week all!

Snow! Josh and Bike #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

Hi all,

I planned to update earlier in the week but the snow threw all plans out the window!

I feel like I’ve been working, or thinking about work for the last 72 hours straight. Day 6 tomorrow but I’m feeling good! I won’t go into details, but we’ve done so well recently, and I’m proud of my team and of myself. It’s exciting and rewarding to think of our potential. Definitely worth the mission of getting into work.

Here’s a picture of Molly-Moo looking like a wild thing in the snow:

She loved it! Although she wasn’t such a fan of the ice-ball snow boots that formed around her legs. Josh is also generally less anxious in the snow. My theory is he had a good experience back before he was rescued so has nice associations. (That’s pure speculation by the way.)

Back in this post I showed the start of a painting. I’ve worked on it for a couple of hours more.

The biggest difference is that I’ve added some highlights to the grass, tweaked the scale of the bike, added some detail to the leaves and basket in the background and slightly changed the proportions of a couple of things.

Things I’ll continue to work on:

  1. I want to block out Josh’s toggle on his collar. It’s accurate, but kind of manky in real life.
  2. I need to add some shadow to the background.
  3. I’m really keen to find a super fine paintbrush and add lots of little details, especially to Josh’s fur!

Hope you’ve all been able to enjoy the snow and not been too disrupted by it.

Josh and Bike #1

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

I’ve started another painting to get a bit of practise in. This is Josh in front of our bike and cabin (and my messy set up).

He is such a fluff bear so a great chance to practise painting fur. The canvas is only A4 so it’s a nice size to fill a space quickly (which, at least to begin with, I find motivating).

I’ve realised I’m quite an expressive painter. Lots of mark making rather than realistic strokes. Obviously this painting is still in it’s infancy, but when I’ve worked a bit more on it I’ll try to challenge myself to fine-tune it a little bit.

The weather this weekend was relatively warm and bright. There’s the promise of painting outside in the air!

Happy Monday all ❤

Inktober 2017 – Day 24: Blind

inktober, pen

Today’s entry is a quick sketch done on my lunch break.

This is Josh our rescuem initiallyI couldn’t think of anything form”blind”, but realised all weekend I’ve had a perfect example with an overgrown fringe.

Inktober has helped me feel more comfortable doing art in public, although I do still sometimes feel a little on show. 

I’m having a good day so far. It’s been productive and I’m finishing a little earlier than usual (and hopefully I’ll miss rush hour traffic). Fingers crossed that the second half of the day is also productive.

Christmas Beardie #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

You know what’s a lot of work? Puppies are a lot of work. Especially brainy ones who like to explore with their mouth.

Our new Beardie puppy Molly is well and truly settled. Josh, our older Beardie rescue, is mostly indifferent to her. They get on just fine, and it’s nice to see them mimicking one another, but mostly Joshkins is set in his ways.

I wanted to follow up on my previous post about this  Bearded Collie painting.

Here’s the finished result. Josh is in the background ready to go and pick up Molly.

I’m fairly pleased with the result. I like the hat more than I thought I would, and there are parts of the background, like the bark of the tree in the centre, that I really like.

There are also places where I know I cut corners, especially the fur around the nose and the tones in the beard. But I did get it to our friend on time and now she has something to give in charity Christmas raffles.

I’ve been thinking about my painting practice recently. I’m really glad to have done some more realistic pieces, I definitely needed to, but I wonder if I should try some more abstract work? That’s what I always used to do, but I know you need to have a really solid grasp of the fundamentals before you can start extracting ideas and shapes. I suppose you should go with the practice that works for you and just produce something, right?

Any thoughts appreciated!